The Irish language film industry is celebrating an historic moment after An Cailín Ciúin (The Quiet Girl) was shortlisted for an Oscar for the Best International Feature Film. 

The film has grossed over €1million at the box-office in Ireland and the UK becoming the most successful Irish-language film ever.

It was selected by IFTA in August as Ireland’s nominated film for the Oscars International Film category. Since then Academy members were invited to participate in the preliminary round of voting and had to view all 15 shortlisted films to vote.

An Cailín Ciúin

The film will now go on to the next stage of the Oscar nominations where members of the Academy will select from the reduced list of contenders in the category to pick the final five nominees for the 2023 Oscars which will take place on March 12th.

“What an historic moment for Irish-language cinema! We feel privileged and honoured to continue to represent Ireland as An Cailín Ciúin / The Quiet Girl bids to secure a nomination at the 95th Academy Awards,” said Writer/Director, Colm Bairéad and Producer, Cleona Ní Chrualaoi from Inscéal, the production company behind the film.

An Cailín Ciúin has been a huge hit at film festivals around the world and has been critically acclaimed internationally.

There are a number of connections between the film and Donegal – with producer, Cleona Ní Chrualaoi’s mother, Ellen Crowley (née Doherty) hailing from Gaeltacht Ross Goill near Downings.

Cleona’s uncle, Michael Doherty and family own and run the well-known pub, The Singing Pub (An Síbín Ceoil) on the Atlantic Drive near Downings.

Cleona spent many holidays in Donegal over the years and is still a regular visitor to the area.

The mother of actor Carrie Crowley was originally from The Rosses in Donegal. Nodlaig Sharkey’s mother, Bridget O’Donnell, was a teacher from Meenbanad. Carrie also spent many summers in Donegal and still goes there every year visiting relatives and friends on Cruit Island and Glencolmcille. Carrie, who plays the role of Eibhlín, one of the lead roles in the film, is from Waterford.

Based on Claire Keegan’s novella Foster, An Cailín Ciúin is an intricate, deeply felt coming-of-age drama that delves into the meaning of family through the eyes of a neglected young girl. Set in rural Ireland in 1981, the film follows Cáit (Catherine Clinch) as she is sent from her overcrowded, dysfunctional household to live with distant relatives for the summer. She is welcomed with open arms by Eibhlín (Carrie Crowley), but her husband (Andrew Bennett) keeps Cáit at arm’s length. Slowly, however, a warmth grows within this makeshift family and Cáit begins to blossom in their care. But in this house where there are meant to be no secrets, she discovers one painful truth. An Cailín Ciúin was directed by Colm Bairéad and produced by Cleona Ní Chrualaoi of Inscéal.  The film was funded through the Cine4 scheme from TG4, Screen Ireland, and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland. The film is also in receipt of the Irish Government’s Section 481 tax incentive.